Bethany Heins holding a brown tabby and white cat

Bethany Heins

Director of Operations and Strategic Projects for National Programs

As the Director of Operations and Strategic Projects for National Programs, Bethany Heins leads the execution of strategic projects associated with Best Friends' national program work to achieve no-kill nationwide by 2025. This role marries Bethany's diverse programmatic and shelter operations background, partnership-building capacity and knack for strategic planning.

Prior to this position, Bethany served as the Senior Manager of Regional Programs with a focus on developing Best Friends' lifesaving programs in Atlanta, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; and Houston, Texas. Through Best Friends in 2012, Bethany launched an innovative program in San Antonio, Texas, that focuses on partnerships and grassroots public engagement to save community cats. Bethany then served as the Live Release Manager for the City of San Antonio Animal Care Services from 2013 through early 2015.

Bethany has also worked as the Executive Director of Vernon County Humane Society in Wisconsin. She began her career in shelter operations working as an Animal Care Specialist for Central Illinois Humane Society while obtaining her bachelor's degree in natural resources and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois.

Bethany lives in Illinois with her husband and daughter, and an ever-changing number of cats and dogs.